Friday, July 8, 2016

Pumps on the Straight

At group last night this session's coach is Dance Coach. "Okeey," he says, "Is anyone working on leevals?" Blank stares from us. He says, "Leevels. You know, Freesket leeval 1, Freesket leeval 2?"
Does this look like your group too?
So Dance Coach started us with pumps on the straight. Unlike pumps around a circle, where you only pump on one side, the pumps on the straight are alternating. You look straight ahead, get deep in the knees, pump right , pump left. The trick is, you hold your arms like this:
Without the weights, and with the hands meeting at the center
We did it forward and back. Easy-peasy. And I just want to mention all my lap skating has made me strong and powerful enough to keep up with the better, younger skaters. So *take that* old age and the prospect of death.

Then we do it forward and back with the pumping foot raised once it reaches the stable straight foot. At this point you slightly move your hands across your chest opposite of the free foot so the slight shift of your arms offsets the imbalance cause by the raised free foot.

At this point you have work your core muscles a tiny bit more, and focus on your balance because your arms aren't spread out to do all the work for you.

Next we get to the heart of the exercise, we do forward and backwards cross rolls with our arms in this constrained position. Now the timing and offset of the hands becomes more critical. (I *still* can't do back cross rolls because of the whole back-step-behind-going-backwards thing, so I just did the exercises on back edges.)

Overall, a great exercise to improve balance, edging, knee bend and focus. I can see why this exercise comes from an ice dancer, because you need to be able to do all your skating in hold, and this is a way to practice the skills for that.

Then Dance Coach makes all the other skaters work on their sit spins. He gives me the eye, "Do two foot sit spin."

Yeah, I can do a two foot sit spin.

I kind of don't want to know how low did I go, because I suspect it's not all that low. Oh, woe.

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